Wallace will walk away from the final two years and $13 million remaining on his contract and conclude a 15-year career that peaked with an NBA championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004.
Wallace, 35, scored 15,860 points and grabbed 7,321 rebounds while playing with the Celtics, Pistons, Portland Trail Blazers, Atlanta Hawks and Washington Bullets (as they were known at the time). He had indicated to the Celtics that he was feeling too worn down to continue playing after this season.
"I don't think he's going to change his mind," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Thursday. "Three days before the last game, he told me this might be his last game. Then, the night before, he told me he was going to give me everything he's got because he felt like it was going to be all over. He went out great. He gave everything he's got. For him to go out that way was great."
Rather appropriately, after an always-contentious relationship with the league's officials, Wallace's final act in an NBA uniform was to make contact with referees. He never bothered to change after the Celtics lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 7 of the NBA Finals and stood outside the officials' dressing room in Staples Center demanding to meet with them, before finally being encouraged to leave and board the Celtics' team bus.
It wasn't clear if he wanted to say goodbye, knowing he was retiring as the all-time leader in technical fouls, or if he wanted to dispute calls made in the game.
J.A. Adande is a reporter and columnist for ESPN.com. Peter May, a contributor to ESPNBoston.com, contributed to this report.